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Mets Morning News: Rajai of the tiger

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Your Sunday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Mets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

The Mets pulled out a late 3-0 victory against the Dodgers thanks to a pinch-hit, bases-clearing double by Rajai Davis in the eighth inning off Julio Urias. NL Cy Young Award frontrunners Jacob deGrom and Hyun-Jin Ryu matched zeros through seven innings, both making brilliantly their case for the hardware. Seth Lugo struck out the side in the top of the eighth and earned his sixth win of the season. Justin Wilson retired the Dodgers in order in the ninth to secure the victory and notch his third save of the season.

Choose your recap: Amazin’ Avenue short and long, NY Post, Daily News, MLB.com, Newsday, Bergen Record

Ahead of yesterday’s game, the Mets added lefty Donnie Hart back onto the roster. To make room on the 40-man roster, they designated Eric Hanhold for assignment.

Joel Sherman details how Rajai Davis’ clutch hit obscured some bad managing on the part of Mickey Callaway in last night’s game.

Last night’s game was every bit the pitchers’ duel that fans anticipated. “I think every pitcher will tell you the exact same answer: If you have a guy like deGrom going against you, you’re extra focused,” Hyun-Jin Ryu said via an interpreter after the game last night. “It actually puts you in a better rhythm because it’s a pitcher’s duel, you get on the mound faster. Basically, going against the top pitcher, like deGrom, in the league, definitely benefits you in terms of staying more focused and having to execute your pitches. It was a good matchup.”

Mickey Callaway made his argument that Jacob deGrom deserves to repeat the NL Cy Young Award.

Callaway also implied in his postgame Q&A with the press that Jed Lowrie will likely not make a start this season and will remain on the bench.

Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post eviscerated Major League Baseball, calling it “soulless” and “lacking in character,” for not allowing the Mets to wear commemorative caps for 9/11, despite other teams having worn commemorative caps in the past to honor other events.

Seth Lugo pitches out of the windup with no one on base because he still views himself as a starting pitcher. “I’m a starter who’s in the bullpen,” Lugo said. He continues to hope he will be in the Mets’ rotation one day.

An overlooked part of the Mets’ season has been Jeff McNeil’s strong capability at multiple positions defensively, as well as competence from Pete Alonso at first base and J.D. Davis in left field, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Around the National League East

The Phillies also participated in a pitchers’ duel last night and came out on the losing end, as the Red Sox scored the go-ahead run in the ninth with an Andrew Benintendi sacrifice fly off closer Hector Neris. They now stand 3.5 games back of the Cubs and the Mets 3 games back with 15 games to play.

Adam Haseley is a big part of the future for the Phillies, writes Matt Gelb of The Athletic.

Speaking of the future, the Phillies are opting not to rush top pitching prospect Spencer Howard by throwing his feet to the fire in the big leagues in the midst of a playoff push. He will pitch in the Arizona Fall League instead.

The Braves clinched a postseason berth last night with their 10-1 rout of the Nationals.

However, it wasn’t all positivity for the Braves last night. In a scary moment, Charlie Culberson was hit in the face with a pitch and had to be carted off the field. Brian Snitker was ejected from the game after arguing with umpires, who called the pitch that struck Culberson a strike, saying that he offered at it (Culberson was squared to bunt).

It was the bullpen that did the Nationals in once again last night, as their grip on the first Wild Card spot loosens further.

The Marlins beat the Giants 4-2, thanks in part to a two-run homer by Jorge Alfaro in the seventh inning that broke a scoreless tie.

Around Major League Baseball

Ichiro Suzuki’s career was celebrated with a pregame ceremony last night in Seattle. He rarely speaks English in public, but gave his full speech in English for the crowd.

In a harrowing piece for the Boston Globe, David Ortiz speaks in English for the first time since he was nearly fatally shot in June. “I had nightmares all the time about being in the desert, looking for water,’’ he said about his recovery. “I would wake up with my mouth dry and feeling like I’m going to die.’’ He thought he would never be the same physically, however, doctors expect he will be fully recovered by Thanksgiving. That said, Ortiz has been irrevocably changed emotionally. “I like to embrace people, make them feel comfortable around me,’’ Ortiz said. “I was always very accessible, but I think I’m going to cut down on that a little now.

With the NL Wild Card race still incredibly close, Anthony Castrovince imagines the craziest tie-breaker scenarios should multiple teams wind up with the same record after 162 games.

Mike Fiers chose a rather...unique facial hair look when he took the mound last night.

This Date in Mets History

The Mets had their first Banner Day—now a storied tradition—on this date in 1963.